Job Hunting Over 40: Has Your Career Peaked?

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One of the most terrifying things for any manager over 40 is losing their job. A mindset of ‘security’ and ‘stability’ sets in, creating ‘unrealistic expectations’ in many older managers. They focus less on career development, keeping your resume fresh, and keeping your skills on the cutting edge.  The reality is, any manager should be moving continually in an upwardly direction.

You Haven’t Reached the C Suit

If you haven’t reached the C Suit yet then you probably will never reach it. That isn’t entirely true. Have you been working with a recruitment firm to build your career? Have you continually been upgrading your skills? Do you have a university education?

If the answer is no, then you need something dramatic to move above Director and Manger job positions. At this time in life you want to hire a recruitment firm, and a career coach. You need to invest heavily into your career capital, and maybe take a gamble or two.

If you are very specialized, then you may have hit a peak in your career. You may have hit the ceiling in your current hotel or restaurant chain. Maybe it is time to look into another chain. Loyalty is only a valuable commodity if you can cash it in. Also, if you have been a very loyal employee then you can add that to your Career Capital.

Directors and Executives

This is the level where many managers stop. It can be a comfortable place, but it can also be a ‘career killer’. You may be happy with Suburban life in your area. Your salary may be fair, with benefits and good holidays. Your wife has a good job. Kids have a good school. Everything is great  – so why move?

The problem is that unless you are a Director of Housekeeping, or Restaurant Executive, and your skillset is both in demand and specialized, you may find your skills grow ‘out of date’. The day will come when you are so far behind that you cannot catch up with new software, methods, and trends.

If you are a Director then there may be few places to ‘move up’ unless you are in a large chain. If you are a General Manager or an Executive Manager then you are expected to be ‘groomed’ for bigger and better things. If you are not constantly showing evidence that your career is shaping up, then you may be seen as a non starter.

Mid-Level Managers

Organizations need mid-level managers to keep the business running smoothly. Unfortunately, managers in these jobs are rarely groomed to move up.  Many younger managers see a position in Mid-level management as a step up the ladder. It often takes several years of being ‘stepped over’ for a promotion to realize that your current job is at the top of your career ladder.

The only way to move up, is to move out. But don’t jump ship too soon. You can move horizontally around your current organization to learn as much as possible and build your soft skills, making you more desirable when you embark on your next job-hunting venture.

How To Fix Your Career?

The first step is to contact a recruiter. I would also contact a career coach. A recruiter will tell you the truth about the industry, what is available, what is in demand, and what you need to do to become ‘marketable.’ A career coach will help you determine what the ‘best move’ is for you.  They will also help you create a ‘plan of action’.

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